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Efficiency Vermont's Energy Efficiency Guidelines for Vermont Wastewater Treatment Facility Upgrades explains the operational efficiency, life cycle cost analysis, and best design practices during major facility upgrades and refurbishments of wastewater treatment facilities (WWTFs). Significant energy efficiency opportunities exist in the wastewater treatment sector. Most Vermont municipalities will need to undergo major facility upgrades at their WWTFs to comply with new clean water standards, particularly concerning phosphorous TMDL in Lake Champlain and nitrogen loading in the Connecticut River. Choosing efficient designs will result in significant energy savings. Energy can commonly represent between 25-45% of the operating costs of a wastewater treatment facility.
Under the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA), energy efficiency and water conservation efforts (also known as Cost and Effectiveness, or C&E) for Clean Water SRF projects must be evaluated and implemented where the project involves repair, replacement, or expansion to the maximum extent practicable. This means that a project maximizes the potential for efficient water use, reuse, recapture, and conservation, and energy conservation taking into account the construction cost of the activity, the operation and maintenance cost over the life of the project, and the cost of replacing the project or activity.
The Vermont Clean Water SRF intends to comply with C&E requirements by partnering with Efficiency Vermont to provide technical assistance to all applicants. This coordination will happen early in the planning stages of the project. In addition to this offer of assistance, all applicants will be required to submit a C&E Certification Form as an attachment to the Preliminary Engineering Report.
Please note that Burlington Electric serves as the efficiency utility for the City of Burlington. CWSRF staff will work directly with the City of Burlington to ensure C&E compliance.
One requirement for the Preliminary Engineering Report is to address energy and water efficiency. The guidance document outlines potential cost-effective energy efficiency improvements that the client and engineer can discuss for new design projects and simple equipment replacement/refurbishing upgrades as a part of the alternatives analysis. Reviewing these concepts early in the design process can help achieve buy-in from facility staff and set the stage for additional efforts in partnership with Efficiency Vermont to provide a clear path for wastewater facility staff to maintain system efficiency after the upgrade is complete.
Efficiency Vermont can provide technical assistance to municipalities about how to make their facilities as efficient as possible. For more information, please contact Adam Tower at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-540-7880. For questions related to CWSRF implementation of Cost and Effectiveness, contact Terisa Thomas at email@example.com or 802-249-2413.